Post Craniotomy anxiety

On November 18, 2013, it will be 8 years since my brain aneurysm ruptured. I had emergency endovascular coiling on November 20, 2005 ( I went to the hospital the next day after the rupture.) No deficits and I am very thankful to be alive. The next five years I followed up with annual MRA's and an angiogram. Everything was clear, no additional aneurysms, and I was given medical clearance and no more follow ups was needed. I was considered "treated". At the 6th year mark, during a routine eye exam, my ophthalmologist detected a partial right cranial nerve palsy in my right eye. It wasn't going up and my pupil was dilated. I went for an MRA and the report said that everything was normal, however, when my neurosurgeon reviewed the scans he emergently admitted me into the hospital because he saw the new development. Lo and behold, the coils compressed and another aneurysm was hitting the optic nerve muscle. If it ruptured, I would have serious deficits and possible death. Of course I was scared and upset. How could this happen? I had a craniotomy on November 23rd, 2011 and was in the hospital for 5 days. I physically healed from the craniotomy and struggle from time to time with the emotional piece. I had an MRA with and without contrast in August 2013 and everything looked new aneurysms. Any little ache or change, I freak out and think something else is developing even though there isn't a medical reason. I have a 6 year old daughter and soon to be 4 year old son so of course I want to see them grow up.

Thank God I have a great support system with my family and husband. But they don't know how I am actually feeling. They haven't been through what I have. I cry from time to time. It sucks to worry about every little "weird" feeling and wondering if it is normal. I call my neurosurgeon when something doesn't feel right and he has been wonderful. I am practical so I don't call him for every little thing. He told me that from a medical standpoint everything is okay, however, I always have the lingering feeling that something is wrong due to the recurrence. He recently told me that some patients feel that they aren't the same after a brain aneurysm surgery and that a support group will help. Any help with dealing with these emotions will be greatly appreciated. I know that they are normal, but I need help moving forward with them. I will continue with annual MRA's for the next 3 years and have an angiogram at the 5 year mark from the craniotomy date.

hi Karen!! good job writing here!! it will help- just the act of typing it seems to help, I guess knowing that someone well aware is here interacting makes great comfort and comradery, you are doing great! having been thru so much, I made a list of negatives then garnished them with positives, ie I lost friends at work but I gained friends here! I cant see left but I see beauty in most everything etc etc, I hope this helps, take care, keeping you in thoughts and prayers ps- great to have support at home!

Hi Karen...It is so good for us all to come here to express our fears, concerns, etc., and you my dear have been through so much...I think not a day goes by that we don't think about our Brain aneurysm's...however, we need to put it in a perspective...that we are living life...because basically we got a 2nd chance ... and I think your Doctor is so right...we aren't the some ways we are better and some worse, but we are Alive...we now need to know and learn to listen to our body (namely our brain's)...You are a tough cookie...Hang on to Hope and Faith...and enjoy each moment with your kids...~ Gotcha in my Thoughts ~ Colleen

Hello Karen!

Your medical history and mine sound rather similar....Although I had a clipping for a 1998 aneurysm on the Left Pcom artery....but, I recovered well from that 'surprise' and continued onward, didn't really think much about the aneurysm or about new aneursyms forming...

All was well 'til about the middle of 2006...I had had a horrendous tooth infection over a weekend, couldn't get anti-biotics nor a dentist to take a look at I got thru the weekend from hell and awoke come Monday morning with no toothache..but my vision was suddenly a problem. Knowing that my 1st Neurosurgeoun had mentioned that if anyrhing should go haywire with the vision, this could signal that there is an aneurysm formed and possibly pressing on an optic nerve. Lovely...I had no health coverage at the time, & kept my mouth shut about my new issue. I informed every one at work about it though, (and said nonchalantly that if anyone found me slumped on the floor, to keep in mind that it could be another aneurysm) 4 months or so went vision continued to be an issue and was getting worse...until one day I felt an incredible surge of pain in the center of my skull, then...nothing..I lapsed into a coma due to a ruptured annie on the Right Pcom artery...was subsequently coiled and was in the hospital 6 weeks...and like you, came out of this ordeal in one peice. ...BUT, I had a surgeon at the time who evidently didn't think I needed any followup exams, infact I had none at all...but I was well and felt fine so in retrospect I thought I was in good shape..then I started noticing something that i hadn't noticed since before 2006, and that was a dialated pupil on my right eye....hum...tha'ts interesting I thought...wonder what that's all about......I felt fine, didn't have headaches or pains in my head or neck...and went about my life as usual. One night 3 years post coiling, I was typing something on the computer and decided it was time for bed..I got up and headed towards the house (computer is in the garage), got to the doorway and wham--that exacting, intenesly bad pain I remembered having back in 2006 before I hit the ground --was back. I again hit the ground, only this time I didn't pass out. back to the ER I went...had a seizure en route, woke up in the hospital basement of all places--long story--but the end result of this story was that I had compacted coils that were leaking...I was shocked! didn't see it coming for even a waking minute. I too had a clipping done (in 2010) and rid myself of the coils from the 2006 job.and to fix the annie permently. Honestly i haven't really had any issues until earlier this year when I noticed that once again, I've got a dialated right sided pupil I saw a new Neursurgeon last week who is scheduling an angiogram for me..not sure when that will be, soon i hope. But that nagging fear of another aneurysm is now here, every day i think about it, and what really was the kicker for me was I was invited to go to China for a 3 week trip with my Dad last May..but the fear of having another aneursym kept me grounded right here, so I had to turn down the offer.( That's letting the aneurysms win, and that is not the way I want to continue playing the game!)

SO yeah I get it! totally understand that 'OMG what if" feeling...

Wish you the best in this journey, peace, Janet